Evolv1 achieves zero carbon performance certification


Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Cora Group, which describes itself as a local developer and sustainable building advocate, has achieved dual certification for evolv1 under the Zero Carbon Building Standard. The first-of-its-kind building is the second to receive the Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC) Zero Carbon Building Standard – Design and Zero Carbon Building Standard – Performance certifications.

It’s been two years since evolv1 accepted Canada’s first ZCB-Design certification. The new ZCB-Performance certification is an assurance that the multi-tenant office building is on its way to achieving The Cora Group’s target of net-positive energy.

“The Cora Group is pleased to announce that evolv1 has earned Zero Carbon Building Standard – Performance certification through CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Program,” Adrian Conrad, The Cora Group’s Chief Operating Officer said in a press release.

The goal was to influence the market and now with the Performance certification, we hope the influence is even stronger.

Since the Cora Group opened evolv1’s doors, it has welcomed everyone from students to country leaders through its building to show the tangible example of what a zero-carbon future could look like. “The vision is to build a better future for our world.”

evolv1 operates with sustainable features including two different solar technologies: solar panels and a passive solar wall system. The building’s open-loop geothermal system uses an aquifer to heat and cool the commercial space and the geothermal well is 160 meters deep and pumps 800 gallons per minute. Other features include a 40,000-litre rainwater cistern and daylight harvesting. The building promotes sustainability with 28 Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers.

evolv1 is visually known for its 1,440 Canadian-made solar panels that cover the parking lot and 754 solar panels on the roof. On a summer day, the onsite solar panels can produce 2,000 kWh more renewable energy than the building uses – providing this energy back to the grid.

“As the very first Zero Carbon Building certification, evolv1 is already ahead of the curve,” said Thomas Mueller, CEO of CaGBC and GBCI Canada. “I had the pleasure of visiting evolv1 this February and I was impressed by how the different design approaches and technologies had been integrated to achieve zero carbon as well as environmentally advanced and healthy workplaces through LEED Platinum certification.

evolv1 is home to some of Waterloo’s top tech, global brands, and sustainability-focused organizations. By partnering with the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, evolv1 has become a living lab that is researched in-depth for its energy production, and human interaction and habits within a sustainable building.

During evolv1’s first year of operation:

  • The 104,000 sq. ft. building’s total annual production was 848,823kWh
  • evolv1’s tenant community includes The Accelerator Centre, Borealis AI, EY, Sustainable Waterloo Region, TextNow, University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University
  • The Cora Group had toured over 1000 people through evolv1 common areas and its mechanical rooms to share knowledge as an industry leader
  • Cora group continues to charge market rates at evolv1 to tenants proving that building sustainably can be done feasibly – even for a premium commercial building
  • evolv1 is close to achieving LEED Platinum certification as a LEED Platinum candidate
  • evolv1’s solar array displaced 110 tons of CO2 in one year, the equivalent produced by 130 cars a year


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